It’s been almost a year since we brought the boat home to Bundaberg. Since then quite a bit has happened but we’ve not gone anywhere. Life gets in the way of things.
After finally getting the boat home it didn’t stay in its’ marina berth for too long at all before I had it hauled out and then went through the process of hull cleaning and antifouling. I did see her hauled out before purchase but to watch her get transported across the road to the hardstand was something a little different to a quick lift out and straight back in again.
The plan was to have her out for two weeks and in that time I should have been able to scrub, sand her down and antifoul all that needed doing. But as has been the habit nothing is going to plan. The very high pressure wash down exposed some very interesting looking lines around the keel. Anyone from who I sought advice immediately suggested a bolt on keel but everything I’ve read and been told, that’s not the case. She supposedly has a fully encapsulated keel. Once I said that they all scratched heads and walked away.
I did get a local shipwright who is also a marine surveyor to look at it. Even he is not exactly sure what is going on but it all seemed solid and his advice was not to worry about it. It may have just been where the top layers of fibreglass were not laid up together properly. Fingers crossed on that one.
With the delays getting sound advice, the time it took to grind a few little blisters out and glass up, sand and paint it all went well beyond the planned two weeks. As I am still working of course any work I was doing is my weekends. Add to all this I end up being short staffed at work. One off with a broken leg, another regularly away tending to a sick partner and now one is away on leave. The planned two weeks blew out to seven and then more.
As the time for going back in the water approached the marina asked if I really needed to go back in just yet. The arrival of the ‘Down Under Rally” was approaching so they were keen on having berths available for the many boats expected. So a longer delay which didn’t hurt too much as work was keeping me busy and away from the boat anyhow. Whilst on the hardstand a new mainsail and lazy jacks was made and fitted.
Eventually going back into the water and going into my ‘permanent berth’ lots more has happened to keep it alongside. My mother was taken to the hospital emergency department and all the family were called to her bedside only for her to come through things but relapse three months later and passing away. We’ve all been hit by the COVID pandemic that kept everyone in harbour.
But being alongside has allowed some weekend work to get done. Some paining inside lockers, renew hoses in one of the heads, fitting some frames to support some cover over the aft hatch, fitted davits and refurbished an old tender to go on them. At the same time Michelle has been busy on the sewing machine and made hatch covers and tarp for the forward deck from the old mainsail.
But for now she’s in the water, waiting patiently to go sailing again. August sees me with three weeks annual leave so hopefully the weather Gods will be kind and we’ll be able to get out and enjoy the boat as it should be. And maybe then there’s the name change ceremony to come too……